The Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive at Berklee College of Music

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Piano and music sheet

The Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive at Berklee College of Music

Are you a high school student with a passion for music? If so, Berklee College of Music has an incredible summer opportunity tailor-made for you – the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive.

This program is not just any summer camp; it’s a transformative experience designed to help you grow as a musician and performer.

Several Aspire alumni, including Meghan Trainor, Charlie Puth, and Betty Who, have achieved remarkable success in their music careers. This is your chance to be trained by their mentors at Berklee!

In this blog post, we’ll dive into what makes this program so special and why it’s a must-consider for your summer plans.

Getting Ready for Aspire: Five-Week Musical Adventure

Before you step onto the Berklee campus, it’s crucial to prepare both socially and academically. Don’t worry; regardless of your age or skill level, Berklee Summer Programs is committed to equipping you with the tools you need to thrive during your time with them.

Academic Excellence

At the heart of Aspire: Five-Week is an unparalleled academic experience. Taught by Berklee’s renowned faculty, the program offers a mix of private instruction, instrumental labs, ensembles, theory, and musicianship training. You’ll be learning from the best in the business.

Inspiring Coursework

The program’s coursework draws from Berklee College of Music‘s award-winning undergraduate curriculum. Whether you’re aiming for advanced music studies or just exploring your musical passion, this program goes beyond technique to cultivate a well-rounded student performer. It’s like a sneak peek into the life of a Berklee undergraduate.

Showcase Your Talent

Performance is at the core of the Berklee College Of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program. You’ll have numerous opportunities to showcase your skills, from open mic sessions to jam sessions, and even a chance to perform your original songs in front of a panel of Berklee faculty. If you’re a vocalist or instrumentalist, there are spotlight opportunities waiting for you.

Music Teachers National Association Competitions

Explore Boston

While your focus will be on music, you’ll also have time to explore the vibrant city of Boston. You will be able to explore these places while studying!

  • The Charles River Esplanade
  • Boston Public Library
  • Fenway Park
  • The Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Prudential Center
  • Newbury Street
  • Symphony Hall
  • Copley Square
  • Boston Common
  • The Public Garden
  • The City of Cambridge

Student Activities

Beyond music, the program offers a range of activities to help you connect with fellow participants. From movie outings to local sightseeing tours, there’s always something fun happening. You can also hang out at Berklee’s Center for Campus Life and enjoy various on-campus events.

Access to Berklee’s Resources

During your time at Berklee College Of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program, you’ll have access to top-notch facilities and amenities, including practice rooms, performance halls, student lounges, and ensemble rehearsal spaces. It’s a musical paradise!

You will have the chance to gain practical experience in studios, laboratories, classrooms, and performance venues designed to replicate the conditions commonly found in contemporary professional settings.

By consistently enhancing Berklee’s technical tools, equipment, and facilities, the College and Conservatory guarantee that students can readily access the most efficient and up-to-date resources to improve their education.

In a nutshell, the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive at Berklee College of Music is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for high school students passionate about music. It’s a chance to learn, grow, and perform in a world-class setting.

Center for Campus Life at Berklee

At Berklee, the Campus Life Center stands as the heart of student involvement. Here, you can unwind, enjoy games like ping-pong or pool, catch up on TV shows, or simply engage in lively conversations with friends.

The information desk is your go-to source for Berklee insights, exciting regular activities that spark creativity and enjoyment, and special discounts to make the most of what Boston has to offer.

Functioning as a catalyst for comprehensive student growth, the campus life team strives to enrich the college experience and unlock the potential of every Berklee student.

Their student-centric approach fuels our commitment to bring together the College and Conservatory campuses through extracurricular activities that foster a sense of community, inspire new traditions, and promote active student participation.

As champions of the student perspective, their office is dedicated to delivering services and assistance tailored to the unique requirements of an urban campus.

Berklee aims to encourage active global citizenship by providing a secure environment for exploring individual and social identities recognizing the interconnectedness that unites us all.

Students from all over the world gather together to attend the Princeton Summer Journalism Camp

How to Enroll in Berklee College Of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program

Here’s what you need to do to secure your spot at the Berklee College Of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program—it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3!

Register Online

First things first, kick off your journey by registering online. Just head over to the registration page (click to open in a new window), and you’re on your way. Remember, if there are any additional materials required, make sure to submit those too.

Pay Your Tuition

Berklee College’s programs have limited space. To guarantee your spot, it’s crucial to complete your full tuition payment. Don’t wait too long; this is a popular program!

Request On-Campus Housing (If Needed)

If you’ll be 15 or older when the program starts, and you need a place to stay on campus, no worries! Just fill out the Residence Hall Contract in the Next Steps tab of your registration portal.

Keep in mind that the program has limited capacity. Registering alone won’t guarantee your spot. You secure it by paying in full. Once they reach the full capacity, those who haven’t paid in full will be added to a waitlist.

different musical instruments in a white background

About the Curriculum

The Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to study music at Berklee College of Music. You’ll pick a principal instrument (yes, singing counts!) for your program.

You can even choose an electronic digital instrument if that’s your jam. Your instructors are top-notch Berklee faculty members, and your schedule will include private lessons, instrumental labs, ensemble playing, theory classes, performances, and musicianship training.

Classes are scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., and they are tailored to your musical interests and experience level.

The program wraps up with an exciting final week of concerts where you’ll get to perform for your teachers, fellow students, family, and friends.

The Core Curriculum

Let’s break down what you’ll be diving into during the Berklee College Of Music’s Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive. We’re talking about the Core Curriculum – the essential building blocks of your musical journey:

Private Instruction

Every week, you’ll get a dedicated half-hour lesson on your main instrument. It’s all about fine-tuning your skills.

Instrumental Labs

Three hours each week are reserved for small group sessions where you’ll hone your instrument-specific style, reading abilities, and technique. It’s like a musical gym for your instrument.

Instrumental Survey

Explore the history of performance styles and techniques in this survey class offered by instrumental and vocal departments. It’s a deep dive into the evolution of music.


Get ready to jam! Spend two hours per week in instrumental or vocal groups, and you’ve got a smorgasbord of contemporary styles to choose from – jazz, pop/rock, pop/R&B, funk/fusion, bluegrass, salsa, world music, and more. Plus, some lucky ensembles will hit the recording studio!

playing the piano


Sharpen your musical ear, performance skills, and reading abilities in four weekly hours. Your class level is tailored to your initial musicianship assessment.

Theory in Performance

For three hours a week, delve into the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic elements of music and how they relate to playing your instrument. Again, your class level is personalized based on your theory assessment.

Performance Perspectives

Twice a week, you’ll hear from music pros in the industry, from performers to songwriters, film composers, and more. Expect some big-name guest artists, too!

Visiting Artist Clinics

These sessions feature industry experts, and they’re open to all students. You’ll get insights and inspiration from the best in the business.

Music Technology for Blind Students

For our visually impaired musicians, we offer a course on assistive music technology. Dive into digital audio workstations, notation, and Braille music.

Final Week Concerts

Wrap up your intensive experience with a bang. You’ll be performing in one of over 300 student ensemble concerts during the final week.

Venues? Well, we’ve got recital halls, the Red Room at Cafe 939, and the world-class Berklee Performance Center. Get ready to rock the stage! So, there you have it – your roadmap for an incredible musical adventure at Berklee’s Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive. It’s not just learning; it’s a journey of self-expression and musical exploration!


Electives are your chance to dive deeper into topics that really spark your curiosity. Each elective meets once a week for two hours so you can explore your chosen subject in-depth.

You’ll get one elective from the list of required options, and if you’re up for it, you can also opt for an extra elective. The best part? You get to choose your preferences during the online placement assessment before the program starts. It’s your chance to shape your own learning adventure!

Here’s the lowdown on your elective choices – exciting opportunities to dive deeper into specific areas of music:

a students performing on stage

Producing Music with Ableton Live

Ever heard of Ableton Live? It’s a game-changer in music production. This workshop will teach you how to use it to create electronic masterpieces, from composing to remixing. Get ready to unleash your creativity!

Jazz Composition and Arranging

Get a taste of what jazz legends do. This class will introduce you to the art of jazz composition and arranging. You’ll explore orchestration, song structure, music analysis, and the magic of harmonizing melodies.

Music Business

Want to know the ins and outs of the music business? This course has you covered. Learn about copyrights, how your music is promoted, and the artist-label relationship. Dive into setting up a small music business and discover the secrets of successful touring.

Music Therapy Basics

Ever wondered about the power of music in therapy? This course explores the world of music therapy, from the neuroscience behind it to the populations it helps. You’ll learn about becoming a music therapist and the treatment planning process.

Scoring for Visual Media

Ready for a behind-the-scenes look at music in movies, video games, and more? This course delves into the art of composing for visual media. Explore traditional and cutting-edge techniques used in scoring, and get ready to create musical magic for the screen.

Songwriting Techniques

Unlock the secrets of crafting killer songs. This class explores song form, melodies, harmony, and lyric writing. Plus, you’ll discover how technology can supercharge your songwriting and even earn you royalties.

Survey of Production Styles

Want to see how a song goes from an idea to a full-fledged mix? This course covers it all, from songwriting and mic techniques to recording and mixing. Get hands-on experience and develop those essential interpersonal skills.

No matter which elective you choose, you’ll be diving deep into a world of musical possibilities. So, get ready to explore, create, and take your musical journey to the next level!

Students lounging on the grass.

A Day in the Life in the Berklee College Of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program

Get ready to tailor your music journey to your passions and skills! Your schedule is all about you. Here’s a glimpse of what your week could look like, but remember, it’s fully customizable:

Mondays kick off with a mandatory elective, followed by exploring various instrumental/vocal styles, faculty artist clinics, and visiting artist master classes.

Evenings offer open mics and a chance to get your homework done in the dorm lounge.

Tuesdays start with music theory and musicianship. Afternoons bring more faculty artist clinics and teacher office hours, and you can dive into additional electives, too. Tuesday nights are all about jams and study groups.

Wednesdays continue the musical adventure with musicianship, live performances, reading labs, and ensemble practice. And don’t miss movie night in the residence halls!

Thursdays bring more theory and musicianship, along with sidewalk songwriter performances and style labs. Unwind with Thursday night jams.

Fridays include private lessons, more musicianship, live shows, and instrument/vocal labs. You can also hit the practice rooms.

Saturdays offer a mix of yoga, extra ensemble rehearsals, and café shows. And guess what? You can catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park!

Sundays wrap up your week with practice sessions, homework time in the media center, and more.

Keep in mind many activities are optional, and this schedule can change based on your preferences. Get ready for a music experience customized just for you!

Requirements to be a part of the Berklee College Of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program

Here are the criteria you need to meet to be a part of this Berklee College Of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program. If you’re 15 years or older and have at least six months of playing or singing experience, you’re eligible. Most of the participants are high school or college students.

Now, about English proficiency – you should have a good grasp of the language to understand what’s happening in class and complete your assignments.

They won’t ask you for formal proof like TOEFL or IELTS, but you should feel confident in your English skills.

Lastly, if you’re not a US citizen, the US Department of Homeland Security wants you to apply for an F-1 student visa. Other visas like B-1, B-2, or ESTA won’t cut it for this program.


At Berklee, there are plenty of merit-based scholarships waiting for students like you who want to join the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive.

And here’s an exciting bonus: while you’re at Aspire: Five-Week, you can also audition for a scholarship to Berklee College of Music’s undergraduate program. About $10 million in scholarships get awarded during the program’s final week. It’s a golden opportunity you won’t want to miss!

These scholarships are all about recognizing your talent and dedication. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Start by creating an account and registering for the Aspire program.

Step 2: Take a look at the different scholarship options and their requirements listed below.

Step 3: Once you’ve registered, you’ll find the scholarship application in your berklee.edu/apply account’s “Next Steps” section.

You can choose to apply for the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive Scholarship and one more scholarship if you meet the eligibility criteria. It’s your chance to shine and make your musical dreams a reality!

Earn College Credits

Get ready to score some college credits! If you excel in your core classes and earn a grade of B or higher, you’ll be awarded three college credits when you finish the program. It’s a fantastic way to jumpstart your college journey!

Students gathered around a table and talking.

Final Thoughts

The Berklee College of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program truly is a musical adventure. It’s an experience that propels aspiring musicians towards their dreams.

From world-class faculty to customized schedules, a plethora of electives, and the chance to earn college credits, it’s a unique opportunity for high school students to immerse themselves in the world of music.

With a legacy of nurturing talent and alumni who have made it big in the music industry, the program is a springboard for the next generation of musical trailblazers.

Whether you’re a budding artist, a passionate performer, or simply someone who wants to explore the magical realm of music, Berklee’s Five-Week Program is your ticket to a summer of inspiration, creativity, and unforgettable melodies. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this extraordinary musical journey!

If you’re looking to delve deeper into this topic or have questions about college admissions, you’re in the right place! The experts at AdmissionSight are here to assist you. With more than ten years of experience, we’ve successfully guided students through the challenging admissions journey, helping them secure spots in some of the world’s top universities. Don’t hesitate to schedule your first consultation with us today!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.